M3A32-MVP DELUXE/WIFI-AP wifi problem

Discussion in 'Asus' started by vc, Feb 13, 2008.

  1. vc

    vc Guest

    I recently bought into AMD's spider platform hype and purchased the Asus
    M3A32-MVP DELUXE/WIFI-AP mobo. Everything is great with it except that the
    wifi solution doesn't work and the HD sound make the system crawl in games
    like COD4. I've searched everywhere, including the Asus forums to no avail.
    It seems that their engineers don't read their email or care about what's
    posted in the forums. Did anyone find better drivers that work? I heard this
    is the same wifi solution on other Intel boards as well and they're having
    the same issues.
    Peace
    shagg
     
    vc, Feb 13, 2008
    #1
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  2. vc

    Paul Guest

    If your time was worth money, you'd be best to purchase a separate sound
    card and WiFi solution :)

    If you've worked in a large company, the organization usually pivots
    around certain kinds of structures. For example, in software development
    (not my area), it might be a P.R. database or bug tracking system. Managers
    get rewarded, according to the rate that P.R.s are closed or whatever.

    Asus is not known for their ability to communicate with the outside world.
    There is no reason to expect "engineers" to be trolling forums. Engineers
    work on "the next big thing". They're very busy, and their managers are
    careful to shield them from support issues.

    Support people clean up the mess from "the last big thing". And in terms
    of support people, they are arranged in tiers. The good support may be
    applied to a motherboard, early after release, to correct most of the
    really bad mistakes made. After a while, the less competent support staff
    ("maintainers") take over. They might do things, like add to the CPUSupport
    via small BIOS changes or the like. Or screw up some BIOS releases
    (like two bad releases in a row, for my A7N8X-E motherboard) :)

    So, based on that dismal picture, what is the best way to get support ?

    Contact Tech Support. They'll take down the details of your problem, in
    a structured way. The postings in the forum, while well intentioned, do
    not contain enough details to be immediately useful.

    Is Tech Support perfect ? Absolutely not. Sometimes, they throw away input,
    just to keep up. They "forget" to return phone calls, after telling a
    customer on the phone that they'll call back. So the system is far from
    perfect.

    But if you want something fixed, it starts with Tech Support. Not by
    posting here. Not by posting at vip.asus.com forums.

    The vip.asus.com forums are maintained by Asus staff. If there was
    a problem with the content posted on the site (say some porn), a member
    of Asus staff could remove it, ban the poster, etc. So there are staff
    to do that kind of maintenance. But there are too many threads on the
    forum, to expect the "admin" to care about the content of the threads.

    Now, to the details of your question.

    For the Analog Devices HDaudio driver, it is possible you may find other
    versions floating around. I cannot identify one immediately, because
    I don't know what the enumeration of your motherboard is. If you look
    in the SMAXWDM folder, of an Analog Devices installer, there will be
    an INF file in there (like perhaps ADIHDAud.inf). There are Vendor and
    Device numbers in the file. There may be a subsystem number as well. The
    subsystem consists of two four character hex numbers, and the "1043"
    part would stand for Asus. The other four digits would be for the
    motherboard. Many INF files do not identify the motherboard (i.e. give
    the model name). Your first job, would be determining what the subsystem
    is for your particular motherboard. Maybe it would take CPUZ or Everest
    or Sandra or some other utility, to find that information. Once you'd done
    that, you may find that some recent Intel LGA775 socket boards, have
    used the same HDaudio chip, and have later release drivers. But a driver
    is useless, unless there is a matching line in the INF in SMAXWDM.
    (I know for my AC'97 Soundmax chip, I found four different drivers, and
    one was on the Dell site. You never know where you'll find them.)

    Your Wifi situation is much worse :)

    The first question would be, why do "RealTek" and "GA821" appear in the
    name for the driver file ? It is possible that a previous Wifi card
    bundled with an Asus motherboard, used an RTL8187 MAC. Now, I don't know
    if the driver in this case, supports both or not (i.e. the driver package
    supports older RTL8187 designs and newer Atheros designs). The Asus
    installer uses Installshield, and I don't have a means of looking at
    the CAB files.

    The "GA821" part seems to map to an Azurewave Wifi product. Azurewave
    may have been the first design win for a particular Atheros Wifi chip.
    Maybe the subsystem identifier maps to Azurewave. I don't know how that
    works. I didn't find an Asus identifier, in any case. But maybe that
    isn't necessary.

    The big advantage of the Atheros hardware, over the old RealTek or RalinkTech
    stuff Asus used in the past, is the Atheros is a single chip, complete with
    RF inside the chip. That reduces the manufacturing cost. It could be,
    Asus changed chipsets, to save money.

    So I'm not 100% sure what hardware is involved here. The Atheros is
    supposed to be PCI Express, but the way the Asus Wifi module is packaged,
    is doesn't really look like a PCI Express connector. Now, maybe they're
    running 2.5Gb/sec signals through a pin header, but I hope not.

    In researching the Atheros possible path, it appears that Atheros
    kinda abuses the Vendor/Device/Subsystem thing. To positively identify
    an Atheros design, software has to probe the serial EEPROM which is
    soldered next to the main chip. It contains configuration information,
    and also helps identify what might be firmware inside the main chip.
    It appears you start with the main chip design, and maybe different
    firmwares are permanently burned into the chip at the factory. Thus,
    the same chip design, can do B/G or B/G/super_G. A number is put on
    the ourside of the chip, like AR2425, which is an instance of chip
    plus some firmware. That is my best guess as to how that works, and
    why the chip has two identifying numbers.

    I learned that, by looking in the Linux side of things. They use
    a utility called "ath_info" to dump key parameters from the EEPROM.
    Using "lspci" apparently won't unambiguously identify the hardware.
    It is possible Windows utilities like the payware version of Everest
    or Sandra, would have the same problem. They could look at the
    Vendor and Device codes, but that information is not enough to do the
    job. So when someone says "I have a 5006" or "I have a 5007",
    chances are they're wrong. And that makes finding drivers that
    much harder.

    Apparently, there is a thing the Linux guys could use, called
    "ndiswrapper". An Atheros site offered a small download of that
    type. You can find more references here, but I don't know
    where this will lead you.

    This could be NDIS for an Atheros chip. Only 299KB. The subsystem
    identifier in the INF file, doesn't match the "1043" I'm used to
    for Asus. Using something like this probably doesn't do the
    same things as the Asus software - the Asus stuff offers two
    modes for the module, while this probably doesn't do Access Point.

    http://www.atheros.cz/download.php?atheros=AR5007&system=3

    More of those whiny type discussions, where users try to get their
    stuff working, before the developers are done.

    http://madwifi.org/ticket/859
    http://madwifi.org/ticket/1192
    http://madwifi.org/ticket/1679

    If this was my motherboard, I think I'd punt on the Wifi, and
    work on the sound driver. That one is likely to be easier
    to solve. Buying a different Wifi solution is likely to be
    a faster way to get something running.

    Just some guesses,
    Paul
     
    Paul, Feb 14, 2008
    #2
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  3. vc

    vc Guest

    Paul, I want to thank you for your patience and time in discussing this
    topic with me. Your're a gentleman.
    Victor
     
    vc, Feb 15, 2008
    #3
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